Department Of Interior

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Contact:John Wright
For Immediate Release: June 5, 2003

Secretary Norton Announces the Designation of 23 Recreation Trails in 12 States to the National Recreation Trails System

Secretary of the Interior Gale A. Norton today announced the designation of 23 recreation trails in 12 states, as part of the National Recreation Trails System. National recreation trails is an honor given to those existing trails that have been nominated and meet the requirements for connecting people to local resources and improving their quality of life. Norton's announcement coincides with the celebration of National Trails Day, scheduled for June 7, 2003.

"Our aggressiveness in promoting trails for health and recreation is part of a larger partnership effort by President Bush," Norton said. "These partnerships build trails and trails help to build healthy Americans. It is through these partnerships and recreation trails that we are encouraging a variety of activities to keep our citizens healthy and physically fit."

The national trail designation is part of a continuing campaign to promote community partnerships and to foster innovative ways to encourage physical fitness. The National Trails System Act of 1968 encourages the Secretary of the Interior to recognize existing community trails that qualify as additions to the National Trails System. The Act promotes enjoyment and appreciation of trails and greater public access.

Today's announcement of 23 national recreations trails in 12 states, totals about 492 miles. Last year Secretary Norton designated 26 national recreation trails in 16 states for 836 miles. And in 2001, she designated 15 trails in 13 states for 512 miles.

Along with inclusion in the National Recreation Trails System, each of the 23 trails will receive a certificate of designation and National Recreation Trail markers. Throughout the country there are now more than 800 National Recreation Trails throughout the United States, totaling more than 9,000 miles.

The National Recreation Trail program provides technical assistance and support for outreach efforts. The National Park Service and the USDA Forest Service administer the program with help from a number of other federal and nonprofit partners, notably American Trails, which hosts the National Recreation Trail Web site (
See a list of the 23 newly designated trails to the National Recreation System attached.

The Central Arizona Project (CAP) Trail is a 32-mile shared-use trail (currently under construction) is part of a larger vision to create a recreational trail stretching the entire 336 miles of the Central Arizona Project canal. The trail serves a broad population and represents a key link to major trails in Pima County and the Tucson metro area. Residents enjoy close-to-home outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. Given the speed and success of this project, the CAP Trail partnership is well on its way to making its vision a reality.

The Big Dry Creek Trail is a 10-mile trail that is considered a haven for the residents of Westminster, a highly urbanized part of the Denver Metro area. The trail has been integrated into the community using a number of bridges and underpasses, providing users with safe connections to local schools, shopping centers and recreational facilities. In addition to abundant wildlife (including a pair of bald eagles) and native vegetation, the trail corridor includes interpretive signs explaining the area's Native American history. Bicyclists, equestrians, and wildlife enthusiasts are just some of the groups who enjoy what this trail has to offer in a densely populated setting.

The Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail is ranked as the third busiest trail in the nation by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. This 47-mile multi-use rail-trail is seen as a green jewel in the midst of the state's most highly urbanized county. The trail traverses the entire western length of Pinellas County linking a number of cities and providing a greenway corridor for both residents and urban wildlife. This trail play a significant role in assisting with downtown redevelopment efforts, as well as its high levels of recreational use, natural features, and links to area parks.

The Peghorn Nature Park and Trails features a 58-acre park and trail system that gets its name from the distinctive cattle that were raised in the area in the early 1900's. The park is located on a wetland site and hosts a variety of native birds and wildlife, as well as migratory birds during the winter. In addition to its many natural and historic features, the trail allows for recreational activities such as hiking and wildlife viewing in close proximity to downtown St. Cloud.

The Great River Trail is a 60-mile trail is part of a larger regional trail network, including the 500-mile Grand Illinois Trail and proposed 10-state Mississippi River Trail. The route includes a variety of tourist attractions and natural features including spectacular views of the Mississippi River, Native American mounds, and rookeries of the Great Blue Heron. This trail is a valued resource in the Greater Quad Cities region

The Rock Island State Trail is a 27-mile rail-trail named after the abandoned Rock Island Railroad line, traverses central Illinois farmland through a variety of natural settings. The trail corridor preserves a piece of history amidst prairie grasses, wildflowers and trestle bridges. In addition to its natural and historic features, trail users can enjoy hiking, mountain biking and wildlife viewing.

The Cattail Trail is a four-mile urban trail and greenway (currently under construction) provides West Lafayette residents with a connection to the Northwest Greenway Trail, Celery Bog Nature Area, and Purdue University's Pickett Park. In addition to its natural features, the trail allows for recreational opportunities including biking, skiing, and skateboarding.

The Cardinal Greenway is a 30-mile rail-trail that spans 5 counties and 3 major cities. It is the state's longest linear park and serves all of East-Central Indiana. The multi-use greenway is part of a 60-mile project that provides a key community connection to area schools, parks, and local cultural and historic resources. Trail users enjoy a number of activities including jogging, biking and wildlife viewing. This greenway is a fine example of what is possible through volunteers and a successful partnership.

The Monon Greenway is a five-mile rail-trail and greenway that links Carmel's suburban neighborhoods with area businesses, the civic square and a planned Central Park. The greenway is a key part of a regional trail system and connects with the Monon Rail-Trail (a NRT) in Indianapolis. The trail has brought with it a sense of community and provides a peaceful setting in which residents can explore their surroundings while enjoying a walk or bike ride.

The Northwest Greenway is a five-mile trail (currently under construction) that connects with a local trail system and on-road bicycle lanes, providing West Lafayette residents with a variety of recreational opportunities as well as a means of alternative transportation to locations throughout the city, including Purdue University. In addition to its natural features, the trail provides recreational opportunities including biking, skiing, and wildlife observation.

The Smith's Island Nature Trail is a one-mile trail located near Pleasant Valley. It is considered a natural treasure and haven for area residents and visitors alike. The trail is a naturalist's paradise, hosting oaks, woodland wildflowers and Sugar Maple, as well as herons, osprey and pelicans. Annual Bald Eagle watches attract thousands from across the Midwest. In addition to its scenic features, this trail is valued for its historic resources and natural history interpretation, which draw school children from throughout the region.

The Cross Island Trail is a six-mile linear park is considered a gem of Queen Anne's County. It provides a number of recreational opportunities within a variety of natural settings. Trail users enjoy scenic vistas, wildlife observation under a forest canopy, and connections to area businesses, parks, and schools. The trail is not only valued for its natural features but for its achievement in reconnecting the communities of Kent Island.

The Galloway Creek Greenway is located throughout southeast Springfield, this almost 6-mile greenway includes pedestrian underpasses to provide a safe environment for walking, biking and wheelchair use. The greenway is a valued part of this high-traffic area, linking neighborhoods with historic Sequiota Park, Springfield Lake, the nature center's trails, area schools and churches. This trail has been such a success that public demand for more greenways has increased.

The Stavich Bike Trail (Ohio and Pennsylvania), beginning in Struthers, Ohio and continuing into New Castle, Pennsylvania, this approximately 12-mile bicycle trail connects two states, three townships, and two counties. Following along the former Youngstown-New Castle streetcar line, the trail takes riders through wooded countryside and over gentle hills, providing scenic views of the Mahoning River. In addition to bicycling, trail users are welcome to go hiking and even cross-country skiing in the winter.

The Arrowhead Trail is a converted rail-trail, close to four miles long, allows the residents of Peters Township to enjoy recreational opportunities as well as the natural beauty of the area. In addition to preserving native plants, the trail allows for recreational activities such as hiking, biking, and wildlife observation.

The Ernst Recreational Trail is a five mile rail-trail that allows users to enjoy a wealth of natural treasures in the French Creek Valley. It is home to the state's most biologically diverse body of water (with 66 species of fish and 27 species of mollusks). This multi-use trail meanders through a variety of settings and parallels Conneaut Marsh, which hosts bald eagles and migrating waterfowl. In addition to its many natural features, the trail includes a unique covered bridge and allows for a number of recreational activities such as hiking, biking, and horseback riding

The Ghost Town Trail is a multi-use rail-trail that spans 24 miles and connects two counties. The limestone trail allows visitors a glimpse back in time as it travels through several abandoned coal mining towns dating back to the early 1900's. In addition to its abundant wildlife, natural features and human history interpretation, trail users enjoy activities such as hiking, biking, horseback riding and cross-country skiing.

The Houtzdale Line Trail (Pennsylvania) is a rail-trail that extends over 10 miles through the rolling meadows and mountains of the Moshannon Valley. The rail-line dates back to the late 1800's, and trail users can visit many of the trail's historic features as well as enjoy the area's wildlife, wetlands and even waterfalls. In addition to its natural features, the trail provides recreational opportunities such as mountain biking, horseback riding, and fishing.

The Luzerne County Rail-Trail (Pennsylvania) is a 13-mile rail-trail that offers residents a host of recreational opportunities and will eventually connect to a larger trail network in New York State. Trail users enjoy outdoor activities such as biking, fishing, hiking, and wildlife observation.

The Samuel Justus Trail (Pennsylvania) is an eight mile rail-trail that offers visitors easily accessible scenic views of the Allegheny River. The trail draws walkers and bikers from nearby cities and states, who come to enjoy the natural and cultural resources of this region. Native American carvings dating back to 1200 AD, the spectacular Belmar Bridge built in 1907, and the Kennerdell Tunnel are just some of the features that make this trail system unique.

The Stavich Bike Trail (Ohio and Pennsylvania) is a trail that begins in Struthers, Ohio and extends into New Castle, Pennsylvania. It is a 12-mile bicycle trail that connects two states, three townships, and two counties. Following along the former Youngstown-New Castle streetcar line, the trail takes riders through wooded countryside and over gentle hills, providing scenic views of the Mahoning River. In addition to bicycling, trail users are welcome to go hiking and even cross-country skiing in the winter.

The Cross Vermont Trail is a 75-mile trail and greenway will span the entire state from Burlington to Newbury, linking 17 communities, 10 village centers, 10 state parks, numerous schools and trail systems. In addition to opportunities for biking, hiking, snowmobiling and horseback riding, this trail attracts tourist dollars and provides economic benefits for local communities. With half of the trail already completed, this diverse partnership is making significant progress towards connecting the state in a truly unique way.

The Pacific Northwest Trail, Olympic National Park Segment is a 103-mile trail segment that is part of a continuous 1,200-mile trail route that links the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (NST) and Pacific Crest NST with the Pacific Ocean. This section of the trail is significant, because it serves as an east-west backbone to the predominantly north-south trail system within Olympic National Park. The trail takes users through a variety of significant ecosystems and provides stunning views as it travels through the Olympic, Cascade, and Selkirk mountain ranges. In addition to its many natural features, the trail also provides recreational opportunities including hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and cross country skiing.


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